CANDIDATE Q&A: RIO RANCHO CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES DISTRICT 3
POLITICAL PARTY: I have registered both Democrat and Republican during my life, currently registered Republican.
EDUCATION: BA, History, Antioch College, 1968; Postgrad courses, Economics-Accounting-Statistics, University of Detroit, 1980-81.
OCCUPATION: Volunteer Coordinator, Odyssey Hospice, 2007-2008; Physician Marketer, Osteoporosis Diagnostic Center, 2005-2006; Account Representative, Industrial Rehab Clinics, 2003-2005; Account Executive — occupational medicine and managed care sales, Business Health Services — Livonia, MI (5/00-7/03); Oakwood Occupational Healthcare — Dearborn, MI (5/99-5/00); Providence Corporate Health Services — Novi, MI (11/96-5/99); SelectCare HMO — Troy, MI (5/96-11/96); North Oakland Medical Centers — Pontiac, MI (5/86-4/96); Bank VP/Marketing, Bloomfield Savings, VP/ Marketing, Birmingham, MI (1984-86); Regional Marketing Officer, Empire of America FSB, Southfield, MI (1982-84); Retirement Accounts Manager, Metropolitan Savings, Farmington Hills, MI (1980-82); Public Info & Citizen Service Bureau Manager — Special Budget Asst. to City Manager — Employee Pension Specialist, City of Pontiac, MI, 1972-79; Sales Assistant, Trans International Airlines, 1969-70; Public Relations Coordinator, Metropolitan Detroit Citizens Development Authority, 1970-71; Legislative Aide, Michigan State Senate Appropriations Committee, 1965-66.
FAMILY: Husband Harry Gordon; one son.
POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Government employment: Michigan State Senate Appropriations Committee, 1965-66; City of Pontiac, MI, 1972-1979.
MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Health care sales — secured largest contract in history of state’s most respected occupational medicine practice.
MAJOR PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being married 25 years, raising a happy successful son and recently welcoming his talented, beautiful wife to our family.
POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
EDUCATION: University Studies, University of New Mexico, 1980-1982.
OCCUPATION: Program Manager, Human Resources. Intel Corporation 1994-Present.
FAMILY: Husband, Shannon; three sons.
POLITICAL/GOVERNMENT EXPERIENCE: Have served on the Rio Rancho City Council since June 2009.
MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: I am passionate about giving back to my community and feel fortunate to be able to do this every day. I am proud of my long-term career in Human Resources and the depth in which it has allowed me to serve the needs of people.
MAJOR PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT: Rio Rancho is truly the best place to raise a family and I am proud to have this opportunity. Successfully raising my family in the community where I work has been a very rewarding personal accomplishment.
QUESTIONS TO RIO RANCHO CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 CANDIDATES
Q: What steps would you support to boost the city’s gross receipts tax revenue?
EVERETT: Make retail and entertainment business development a high priority. Oppose GRT increases, which would hamper business growth and discourage purchasing in Rio Rancho.
GUTIERREZ: We need to be an engaged partner with a strategy that leverages what we have to offer as a city. With CNM and UNM West offering curriculums in the medical field and two hospitals, we need to leverage this to bring businesses in that support this. Bring economic-based jobs in to drive retail development.
Q: Do you believe the city should take steps to ensure Chamisa Hills Golf and Country Club remains open?
EVERETT: Certainly by presenting Rio Rancho in the best possible light to potential buyers. But any City financial favors to a private club neglected by its owner for years would be misuse of taxpayer funds.
GUTIERREZ: Revisit the rate increase for recycled water. The council should have looked closer at the economic impact the rate increase was going to have on the golf course and the other large users of recycled water. I would support reducing it in order to find viable solutions for those that are large users of recycled water.
Q: With predictions that the amount of state and federal funding available to municipalities is likely to decline, what do you believe the city should do to pay for its infrastructure needs?
EVERETT: Pursue the increased funding the state is offering for water system improvements. Leverage available state/federal grants for road improvements and expansion. Reduce current city debt, then consider specifically purposed road bonds.
GUTIERREZ: We will need to continue to look for funding resources. If this were to include a GO bond, then I strongly believe in giving the people the right to decide how their tax dollars should be spent.
Q: Are there areas where you think the city could reduce spending to free up funds for public safety needs?
EVERETT: Cut city spending on non-essential showpiece projects, under-performing programs, and duplication between city staff and outside contractors. Pursue public and private grants for innovative public safety programs.
GUTIERREZ: In the five years I have been on the Council, we have had city departments either make deep budget cuts or have spending stay flat to the point where some are literally running on a shoestring. We have been fortunate because we have employees who can work smarter and do more with little resources. I do not favor cutting one service to fund another.
Q: What can Rio Rancho do in terms of city regulations to help attract more retail businesses (be specific)?
EVERETT: Economic ombudsman to help new/expanding businesses though the city permitting process. Current Council initiatives to reduce regulations and fees should continue.
GUTIERREZ: Recent measures taken to streamline Development Services is proving to have a positive impact, and businesses are showing they are pleased with the city and staff in making the process of coming to Rio Rancho a positive experience. We need to continue making this process and experience a win/win for all involved. This will help attract more business coming into the city.
Q: Do you believe that the city of Rio Rancho should contribute to and be part of a county-wide comprehensive economic development effort?
EVERETT: Rio Rancho needs a self-directed economic development initiative based on our own business/technology accelerator. Expand partnerships with county and other public agencies, innovative higher education bodies, business groups and nearby government labs.
GUTIERREZ: We need an entity, like RREDC, to drive economic development in Rio Rancho. This type of work should not be done within a city department as companies would risk losing confidentiality or a competitive edge in their site selection process. The failure to renew RREDC’s contract has stalled economic development in the city. There should be some collaboration with an economic development entity, the City, Chamber of Commerce and CVB. However, the main drive needs to be from a private entity.
Q: Have you or your business, if you are or have been a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Q: Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
GUTIERREZ: Yes. As a result of this, I understand the challenges our residents face in this weakened economy.
Q: Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state?